Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was formally welcomed on Thursday as a Member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. The Academy, which was established by Pope John Paul II and initially led by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, engages in research on life issues, at the service of the Holy See and the Universal Church.
Fr. Frank and Priests for Life have collaborated with the Academy for many years. Last year, Fr. Frank was named a member of the Academy, and on Thursday, His Excellency, Most Reverend Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, formally welcomed Fr. Frank as a member at the opening session of the Academy’s 17th General Assembly, and bestowed on him the pin with the insignia of the Academy. Among those present were the President Emeritus of the Academy, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who said that his recent elevation to the College of Cardinals was a sign from Pope Benedict XVI of the importance of the work of the Academy and of the pro-life movement in general.
This Assembly, which includes Academy members from around the world, will continue meeting on Friday and Saturday, and will conclude with an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Sessions will include presentations on the topics of Umbilical Cord Blood Banks, and also Post-Abortion Trauma. Among the presenters will be fulltime Priests for Life Pastoral Associate Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and among the special invited guests present at the Assembly is Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
Other members of the Academy from the United States include, among others, Dr. John Haas, Carl Anderson (Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus), Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV (Superior of the Sisters of Life), Dr. Thomas HIlgers, Dr. Joanne Angelo, and Dr. Fran Hogan.